Mental health difficulties bring us face to face with our vulnerability as human beings, and after two years of struggling with the effects of Covid-19 concerns about mental health worldwide have never been higher. But our discussions are still fraught with issues of language and understanding. Are we all on a 'spectrum' of mental wellness? Is 'well-being' about 'being well' or about coping? Mental health problems can be frightening when we experience them ourselves, or see them in others.
And despite all the talk, most of us find it hard to decide when or where to seek help. What is often missing from these discussions is the most valuable resource of all - the personal accounts of those with lived experience of mental health difficulties. Making Sense of Mental Health is centred on hours of in-depth interviews with adults coping with mental health issues.
The author follows their journeys from the origin of their distress to their lowest moments to eventual recovery and a sense of moving on. These lived experiences show how in times of crisis people can move forward amidst the chaos, vulnerability and uncertainty brought on by mental health problems. There are no quick fixes or miracle cures to serious mental health issues.
This book shows that 'what works' is whatever helps an individual make sense of what is happening to them. A problem entwined with the human condition, mental health difficulties can best be treated by understanding the experiences of those who have lived through them, and as a society by finding a way to ascribe meaning to the complex reality of mental health.